Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Jessica Walsh and Briana Lawrence stop by Penny's Tales

A Big Welcome to Jessica and Briana

1. Tell us all about yourself and what makes you tick and what do you like doing when you aren’t writing!

Jessica: I love to sew and be creative.  Sketching, drawing, coming up with ideas for future stories, anything that makes my muses wander and be happy.  I specifically love turning two dimensional characters (like Disney) into actual dresses we can both wear.

Briana:  Meanwhile, I like to draw and paint and woodburn, and I love playing video games.  Jessica usually watches me play.  We also watch anime together and other geeky things.  We also role play with each other online, creating different characters and stories.  It’s how “Seeking the Storyteller” was born, actually.

2.  Tell us about your family – married?   Kids?   Where you live!

Jessica: We live together, no kids but we have three cats.  We have our own house in the Twin Cities, in Minnesota.

Briana:  Of course we have parents and stuff, haha.  But yeah our house is us, our cats, and a bunch of figurines and manga and anime and movies and video games and fabric and... wait do those things count as family?

3.If you could travel anywhere in or out of this world, where would it be?

Jessica: I would love to go back to London again, or Japan… or pretty much anywhere with ancient ruins and a really rich culture you can just lose yourself in.

Briana:  I want to revisit London, too!  And I really want to revisit Paris (I was only there for a weekend during my college London trip).  Also Japan, and Italy, and... pretty much everywhere.  Even here in the U.S., there’s so many places I haven’t gone.

4. What is your favorite all time movie?

Jessica: Mine would have to be Labyrinth.  When I was growing up I remember a distinct lack of female main characters in movies, and Labyrinth was one of the few that had that and the fantasy element I’ve always loved.  I could (and have) watch it endlessly.

Briana:  Of all time?  That’s a hard question.  I feel like I can watch “Office Space” at the drop of a hat, or -- oddly enough -- the Mortal Kombat movie.  I don’t know what it is about that movie.  I really, really love the video games, and I was really excited to see the movie when I was a kid.   

5. What about weekly TV show?  Why?

Jessica: Currently loving Once Upon a Time.  Along with the fantasy element, I love seeing well known characters from my childhood reimagined in such interesting ways.  It’s like meeting them again for the first time and I love all the twists and turns.

Briana:  I have this weird fascination with some reality shows, like the cooking ones.  I can’t explain what it is about Chef Ramsey screaming, but I just do.  There’s also shows like “Pawn Stars” and “Deadly Women,” I dunno, I just enjoy them.  I also love game shows like “Price is Right” and “Family Feud.”  I also enjoy sitcoms, but they tend to be ones that are already over, like “King of Queens” and “Seinfeld” and things like that.  

There are a couple of shows we’ve watched together, especially with anime.  “Attack on Titan” and “Free! Iwatobi Swim Club,” we actually marathoned together.  Currently Jessica and I are going back and watching “Justice League” and I think we have a plan to watch the animated DC series?  Like “Batman Beyond” and “Teen Titans” and “Young Justice.”  We do marathons like that sometimes and it’s a lot of fun.

6. What is the scariest situation you have ever been in?

Jessica: Back in college, Briana lived in Iowa and I lived in Minnesota and I would drive down once a month to see her.  One month, in the winter, I drove down in the middle of a white out snow storm.  I could barely see the road and really only knew where I was going because of the car in front of me and the slight difference in shades of white around me.  I think I counted about 26 jack knifed semis on the way.  I almost made it there, but about half an hour away I finally pulled into a rest stop and spent the night in a locked rest stop bathroom because my nerves were so frayed I couldn’t drive anymore.  Made it there the next morning without incident, but I’m not a big fan of driving in heavy snow now because of it.

Briana:  One time, I think it was a year after I moved here to Minnesota, Jessica picked me up from work.  When we got home, all of the lights were on and our screen window was cut.  Someone had broken into our apartment.  They didn’t take much, but the fact that someone was in our place without our knowledge, going through our things was scary.  Our cat at the time, Isis, was hiding in the closet and she was so scared.  They had gone into our bedroom, for sure, because our pillow cases were gone and we think they were used to steal our things.  Some movies and games were taken along with our computers and one of our PS2s (we had two because we both had one in college).  

It’s ironic, because the robbery forced us to start over in our online role play because we needed to get new laptops.  By starting over, we ended up creating the Storyteller.  Now we have a book.

7. If you could have any fantasy, what would it be?

Jessica: I would love to have the ability to think something and then have it end up on paper.  This would make writing so much easier, especially with the really strange images that show up in my brain sometimes.

Briana:  That’s a really cool ability!  I think I’d like that too, please.

8. Now, Tell us about your book?

Jessica:  Seeking the Storyteller centers around the idea of this being called the Storyteller.  He lives in a library of books, where each book is a person’s story from beginning to end.  He’s not ever supposed to leave this library, but he has and that’s a lot of power to be walking around with.

Briana:  This power catches the attention of Alix Andre DeBenit.  Alix is a Hunter.  Hunters are sort of like a hidden police force of sorts.  They’re the ones who stop the demons and other supernatural creatures who roam around before we realize that they even exist.  Alix hates demons because of what happened to his family years ago, but with knowledge of the Storyteller, he has a chance to get the past rewritten.  He has a chance to get back what he lost.  He just has to decide if it’s worth working with the creatures he hates so much.

9. Where did you come up with the idea for your story?

Jessica: While we were long distance and living in two different states, we would spend every night chatting online.  The idea of the Storyteller and the characters around him all came from those chats, just evolving over time into who they are now.

Briana:  And then there was the robbery, which I mentioned before.  And we kept role playing with this Storyteller character.  Then, one day, Jessica sent me an idea for a first chapter.  Then we decided to keep going.  It was through NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) that the story came to life.

10. Where can people find you? (give all your links)

Author’s site: http://snowtigra.wix.com/jessicawalsh
Also on goodreads and a bunch of other sites.


11. Most important – where can we buy your story?

Seeking the Storyteller is available through Solstice Publishing and Amazon.

Please send a copy of the cover of your book and a picture of you (no bigger than 400 X 600 on both pictures please) if you would like.  You can send a book blurb and a short excerpt also.
If you have a question you want to add because you have a great answer for – add it on.  I’m kind of a crappy question asker!  


  1. Hey ladies - Thanks so much for being my guests. What great answers! I have a question. SEW! People still sew??? LOL

    Your book sounds great. I love the cover!

    1. Thanks so much for interviewing us! And yes! I'm working on three dresses right now when I should be writing... lol.

  2. Great interview, ladies! Have to say, I love the Mortal Kombat movie, too. SEEKING THE STORYTELLER sounds like a great read- so glad I heard about it! best of luck!

    1. Hi Mary. Thanks so much for stopping by. Their book really does sound good, doesn't it!

  3. This was a fun interview to read. Your scariest moment had me laughing out loud, even though I'm sure the dive in the snow was scarey..... I will be checking out the book.